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HOW TO REDUCE DOWNTIME AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

By Larry Bush

productivity increase and reduce machine downtime with documentation

Documentation mined for maintenance information "gold".

All maintenance activities of the workforce must be documented, this includes breakdown repairs, callouts, preventive maintenance, replacement maintenance, overhauls, and Testing & Inspection work. Maintenance work by production employees must be included, whether or not the employee is listed as in maintenance. These activities can then be mined for maintenance information "gold". 

increase productivity workplace  List all repetitive work

One of the first things that a maintenance supervisor should be concerned with is repetitive work. Any and all repetitive work should be identified and isolated. This list can then be prioritized as to criticality to Production and plant effectiveness. 

After the list has been rearranged, each task item must be analyzed to determine if the repetitive work is actually aimed at fixing a problem or fixing a symptom of a deeper problem. Fixing symptoms has the immediate effect of allowing production to rapidly resume, but does nothing for the underlying problem(s). In fact, the underlying problem may get worse.

project documentation  Development of a solutions

As soon as a high priority problem has been identified and analyzed, work should begin on development of a solution to the problem. Once the solution to the problem has been developed, plans can be made for purchasing required parts and material and then scheduling the manpower and production time to implement the solution.

maintenance planning  Maintenance planning of machine repairs

Complete documentation is absolutely essential for control of the maintenance process. How can the process of maintenance be under control if the person in charge has no complete idea of what the total maintenance activities and costs are? If needed repairs are not documented and planned for, a considerable portion of these needed repairs and modifications will be forgotten or ignored until production tries to run again.

downtime tracking  Justify machine repair cost

Planning essential repairs and modifications requires documentation. It is easy to say that we need a modification to this particular machine and output of this line can be increased 25%. However, with no planning, six months later no work has been done on the idea. Even if the idea were actually to be somehow implemented, the output increase may not come to fruition.

If no research was carried out on the rest of the line equipment, there is no certain way of determining line and equipment capacity. How would the machine be able to increase output 25% if its current output was already 100% of the lines actual output capacity? All the costs associated with increasing the one machine's capacity would have been wasted, unless additional work was undertaken to bring the rest of the production line up to the output of the one machine.

A production line's output capacity is only as great as it's least piece of equipment. That bears repeating. A production line is only as fast as it's slowest piece of equipment. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

maintenance management  Prioritize your maintenance planning list 

With documentation, the list of priority work problems to solve can be reduced fairly rapidly, at first. The list of easily solved problem areas will gradually be replaced by higher cost work items. Research and planning may reveal that the costs involved with eliminating some repetitive repairs are more than living with the repetitive repairs.

productivity increase  Compare production downtime after solution

After implementation of the solution, production downtime for that particular item can be documented and compared to pre-implementation production output. Maintenance time not spent on working on that solved problem can also be documented for the same time period. These savings can then be extrapolated for an entire year and presented to management to justify the cost of repairs.

Without documentation, research, and planning, the person in charge of making the decisions is working in the dark. With documentation, research, and planning, the great wall of China can be built, or the Panama Canal, or the Aswan Dam, or a world-class maintenance organization.

Maintenance Policy and Procedures is a plan to organize your maintenance department. Following the plan will cause you to document your department's activities. Other department's maintenance activities and interactions with the Maintenance Department will also be documented. With the documentation, planning can begin. For information on this article and Maintenance Policy and Procedures, contact the author.

Larry Bush 
larryb642003 @ yahoo.com

About the Author: Larry Bush has been an electrician for 47 years, and in maintenance management for 22 years. Download his new e-Book "Maintenance Policy and Procedures Manual" !!

(http://www.bin95.com/ebooks/Maintenance_Policy_Procedures.htm)

Another method of process improvement is the Taguchi technique, Design of Experiment (DOE)

Please copy this article onto your websites, just keep all links and credits in place. Thank You

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All rights reserved. Revised: January 14, 2005.

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